Chicago Web Docent in collaboration withSTScI
Origins of the Elements

The Origins of the Elements explores fundamental questions about the nature of matter through story-based lessons and interactives aligned with national science standards for grades 5-8. Created by teachers in collaboration with University of Chicago scientists, the Origins of the Elements web site offers historical and contemporary perspectives on humanity's search for understanding about the Universe. A major goal of the Origins resources is to promote the Periodic Table of the Elements as a primary conceptual model for learning about the nature of matter and the importance of the table to all science disciplines.

The Origins of the Elements resources were made possible through funding by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).

Origins of the Elements and Stories of Their Discovery

Origins of the Elements Interactive

Learn theories about the elements from ancient times to modern in this overview of the history of the elements and stories of how they were discovered. 

The Story of the Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope Interactive

Learn about the historical, scientific, and technological issues involved in space exploration and gain insight into the work of the scientists, astronauts, engineers, and administrators involved in the Hubble Space Telescope.

Interactive Resources
Astronomer's Periodic Table  

Astronomer Periodic Table Interactive


Watch how the first elements were formed and how elements are created in stars.
Periodic Table of the Elements  

Periodic Table of the Elements

Explore the Periodic Table for a wealth of information about the elements.


The Four Elements Game

The Four Elements Game

Enter the world of a Greek black-figure vase to unravel the Sphinx's riddles, meet gods and heroes, and learn about the four elements from the ancient Greek point of view.


Origins of the Elements Museum Visit Guide to the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum

Coming Soon

Use this guide with the Origins lessons and interactives to prepare for a visit to the Adler Planetarium.

Where do the elements come from?

Coming Soon

Learn about the nature of matter and basics of astronomy.

This resource is made possible by funding from NASA
through the Space Telescope Science Institute's IDEAS Program
Chicago Public Schools | University of Chicago Internet Project (CUIP)